City tourism commission recommends funding $29,750 for area groups

Five grants submitted by area groups totaling $29,750 have been recommended for funding by the Kingman Economic Development and Tourism Commission.

Grants recommended for funding include $2,500 for a junior rodeo, the Kingman Army Airfield Historical Society for $7,500, Kingman Downtown Merchants for $4,000, The Kingsmen for $3,250 and Over the Edge Events for the Grand Canyon Marathon, $12,500

In addition, the commission Thursday recommended continued funding of the Kingman Airport Authority at $44,000 for economic development and the tourism committee of the Kingman Area Chamber of Commerce at $164,200 for operating the Powerhouse Visitor's Center and the Route 66 Museum.

The $290,000 budget adopted by the commission also includes $46,050 for contingencies, $3,000 for the Kingman Community Prospectus and $3,000 for training and travel.

The city has projected a collection of $222,000 from the 2 percent tax on room and campsite rentals and has $68,000 carryover from the previous budget.

The Junior Rodeo of the Arizona Junior Rodeo Association brings more than 300 entrants ages 4 to 18 with families to a September event, organizer Mike Ford said.

"We have been told that Kingman can continue hosting the September event as long as we want," Ford said.

"The rodeo needs community support to raise the $8,000 to pay the costs."

Ford, who is the Kingman Unified School District superintendent, has worked with the junior rodeo group for several years.

He said costs for ambulance service and the stock contractor have increased.

Local sponsors pay for the award buckles and other costs.

The Kingman Army Airfield Historical Society will use its $7,500 to pay for an architect to evaluate the cost of restoring the hangar being used to house its museum at the airport.

"With the evaluation in hand and a cost figure, we can apply for grants to restore the building," society board member Bob Feagins said.

"Without this $7,500 in seed money, we can not take the next step."

The museum group was the original sponsor of the Kingman Army Airfield reunions.

The Kingman Downtown Merchants Association will use $4,000 for additional advertising to increase booth rental and attendance at its June antique and crafts show.

"We have increased booth rentals each year," association president Pete Proffit said.

"We began with 22 booths and went to 60 in three years.

We will expand until booth rental replaces the ETDC money."

The Kingsmen, a community volunteer organization, plans to use the $3,250 in commission funds to defray expenses for the Andy Devine Days Rodeo.

Increased costs for rodeo stock and ambulance service have stretched the budget, Kingsman member Tom Carter said.

"We consider the rodeo and Andy Devine Days a heritage event for Kingman that should have continued city support," Carter said.

"It costs about $60,000 to put on the rodeo, an event that continues the ranching heritage of the area."

The Kingsmen also work with the city on the Andy Devine Days parade and sponsor a softball tournament during the same week.

Over the Edge Events will use $12,500 to advertise the Grand Canyon Marathon nationally and internationally.

The first marathon in October drew 589 runners from 47 states and 14 countries.

It is held on the Hualapai Nation at West Grand Canyon and entry-fee proceeds are shared with the tribe.

The 2003 event is planned for Oct.

18 and Over the Edge is looking for major corporate sponsors.

Other applicants not funded were Crazyhorse Stables, the Kingman Air and Auto Show, the Kingman Dolphin Swim Team for a local meet and the Round Table Round Up TV Show.

Commission chairman Tom Spear said the grant money is meant to be seed money for events that bring people to Kingman for overnight stays.

Applicants are asked to bring budgets and explain how their events can become self-supporting over time.

The commission members discussed asking the Kingman City Council to use general fund money for the Route 66 Museum so that $40,000 of commission money can be used to promote other events.

The council moved the Bonelli House budget from the commission funds a few years ago.

"We have an annual projected income of $220,000," Spear said.

"The carryover dollars won't always be there so the budget will have equal income sometime soon."

The recommendations by the Economic Development and Tourism Commission go to the Kingman City Council for a decision as the city budget process unfolds.